Anyone who doesn’t want to be bored with money saving tips just do not read any further….
I hate reading through a list of money saving tips but I have to say I have found some that have proven extremely helpful over the year.
- The other day I was visiting my son… lovable creature a bit like Chewbacca. He was talking about having to buy containers to freeze his food in.. I asked him if he had margarine containers..yes… I told him to freeze his food in them and when frozen take out, slip into an old clean bread bag and put back into the freezer…space challenged as it is it would take more food this way than in the containers. I do this a lot. it saves me money and space and it doesn’t matter if the containers break.
- Tonight I washed out my zip lock bags to be reused.. everyone knows this trick 🙂
- I wash up once a day because there are only two of us and other than a bowl, two cups, a bit of cutlery and a plate for the breakfast things, we really only have the tea dishes to wash up. Why waste the power and water to wash up three times of day. (its ok a plate with bread crumbs brushed off it and sitting waiting to be washed up will kill no one.)
- Heating .. Heating as low as possible. We have our heater set at 17 degrees. I would have it set to 16 if it would go lower. Extra jumper and a pair of socks will deal with your belief its cold…imagine a nice spring day what temperature is it ..about 17 degrees right… do you really need to walk around in a tee shirt and pay through the nose for the Electricity bill?
- Cooling…. if its 30 odd degrees outside do you really need to take the temperature inside down to freezing… We have it set about 24 or 25 degrees, certainly no lower that 21.
- Hot water.. I boil the kettle for washing up and we do not use hot water to clean our clothes. I wash in cold water and air and sun dry my clothes. Our gas is expensive here so we limit our usage to showers only… this quarter with the usual fees piled on top as they always do was only $65.
- Slow cooker.. power and time saving. I lived in a unit once where the oven simply didn’t work. Things were either burned to a crisp or raw inside if it was used. I resorted to using my slow cooker as the oven. Awkward but workable. I am in the process of returning to this habit to save myself valuable time I wish to spend sewing etc.
- I can make numerous large meals and freeze the left overs for future meals, as I said before I use margarine containers. the larger ones suit us best as it holds enough for a meal for two people.
- no take away. We get pocket money once a month. If we get take away it is out of this so you can imagine we limit what we buy. Besides its expensive. Hubby walked past a cafe the other day… Jaffles were (I cant remember exactly but) about $6 each …we had home made jaffles for tea that night. Our main take away hit comes during our holidays when we go away. By day two we are both so ill from the garbage we hate meal time. We prefer to make our own.
- No car, public transport.
- We don’t drink or smoke by choice.
- Clothing purchase is minimal if new and limited if second hand. We have a small unit so this means we don’t go crazy with purchases. A pair of shoes is expected to earn its keep and last 5 to ten years depending on what it is. I have a pair of leather boots that is 33/4 years of age and even then I got them second hand. I don’t wear garbage I simply look after what I have. The leather boots have had new soles put on them at one point but I have spent some winters where I have barely been out of them so they have earned their keep.
- Household items… have to be justified and have to earn their keep. We do not buy them just to look at them.
- wants versus needs………. this month I spent my pocket money on a Triple bowl slow cooker.. when I say I sent my pocket money I took a loan from the household account and will need to pay half my pocket money per month for the next two months. Normally I wouldn’t not do this. I would only buy what I had cash for but it was on special. Why don’t I take it out of household instead of pocket money and be done with it? Its a want. I wanted it I did not need it. Its a pretty new toy for me paid by me for fun, my kind of fun. yes it will pay for itself but this doesn’t change it from a want to a need.
We have lots of wants in life but we are happy to get the small thing and live within our needs.. Our biggest want is our unit we want to move into when we retire… To pay for this want we need to sacrifice for it, if this means we dont have expensive clothes or expensive cuts of meat for meals or can go out every week then thats what happens.
- Internet… now we could say this is a want and I could go to the public library everyday to use their internet for free but this is one item we do classify as a need… I am sometimes invalided due to medical conditions so to maintain sanity I have to be able to still see the world. This internet also gives us the home phone I may need to phone the ambulance. It gives us the internet of course, contact with family and it also throws in entertainment for a low price. We looked around and we believe got a good deal (even if their customer service is garbage… (we have heard its not the worst so have decided to stay with this provider anyway) Internet offers me the freedom I would not have when I am confined to bed.
- mobiles… essentials and on the lowest plans. We once again looked around for the best deal…unlimited calls on mine and limited internet data but as of yet I have not exceeded my data limit, in fact I have only once gotten close. ALWAYS look around for a good deal. At the end of your contract if you have on then check everywhere again to see if someone can do better for you.
- Any thing you have to pay regularly…health cover, internet, phone, insurance, mortgage, dental, glasses, you name it you need to check on a regular basis if you are able to get a better deal. You can save yourself a fortune. Recently we changed things in our health care. We moved house to save in our rent. We changed real estate agents for the management of our property (management fees are terrible).
- Foods…. cheaper isn’t always bad. I buy the cheapest. We are alive, we aren’t going to die because we eat the cheapest meat and veg. We will also not remember in five years time what we ate last night so why spend $35 a kilo on a meat when you can get something else for $3 a kilo. If its tough buy a slow cooker 😉
- Jobs… its a job, it pays money, you need money so do you take it? Well hell yes of course you do. You might be surprised at what it leads to. I have worked on a booth collecting parking fees… now that was an experience in itself but it gave me self confidence especially after the young chap pulled a knife on me..yikes…. I have cleaned toilets in Government offices, in private homes and in small businesses. I got money, I paid my rent, I built up my bank account. I moved on to re-educate myself and studied full time and this is where I met my husband… my son started out on the parking booths as well, into doing a physical labouring job and then became a security guard. He moved onto call centre and then deeper into IT. He is fully employed working his way up and doing well..He brings in more money than we do… this from a kid who has severe dyslexia and its because he took what he was offered from life and ran with it…. Don’t say no to a chance to grow into your future even if its a short stay with a job you can always get something out of it…………..life gives you good things if you will let it. It may not happen as you plan for it to happen but it DOES happen.
- Furniture…….. if someone comments on your old furniture tell them you happen to like it.. they will soon shut up. We have a mix of styles in our home …notice how well I put that… its an eclectic look and we did it deliberately and we love it…….. lol see its easy. In reality everything we own bar the white goods is second hand and old and a lot of it is really ugly but it is ours and we own it every bit of it…. so its beautiful to us. If we NEED something we go second hand shopping for it first. It is retro, antique and vintage, not old and tatty lol…. don’t waste your money on what you cant afford… fads become so old so quickly.
ok lectures over some basic tips
- old bread bags for putting food into freezer or bagging rubbish..what ever you choose…strips of bread bags for tying garden plants to stakes…its limited by your imagination…remember if you dont use these you will have to buy plastic bags.
- bread tie tabs can be reused when you re use the bread bags
- zip lock bags that come with food in them.. keep them for storing other food in them..they are zip lock bags that are a bonus when you buy the food.
- Bread… just a point on this ..buy your bread and freeze it. take out only what you need for that meal. It doesn’t go moldy this way.
- Milk… buy it in larger sizes as its cheaper and then freeze it in smaller containers so it doesn’t go off before you use it all up…or do what we do and buy UHT style..cheaper version of course.
- Coffee…do you drink instant coffee? I buy the largest container I can of our coffee. It costs less per 100 grams.
- Food jars are great for storing other food in or for bottling fruits and veg or homemade jams or sauces in. I recycle mine all the time and make jams, marmalade, bottle beetroot etc. I also put left over pasta or gravy powder etc in them… then I can see what I have at a glance and don’t have to buy containers..if you want you can paint all of the lids the same colour to have a matching set.
- clothes…re-purpose, reuse, recycle… I am about to cut up a sheet to make hankies… We don’t need the sheet because it is too small for our bed but we do need hankies. I am going to make backpacks for the grand-kids…well try to anyway out of clothes I have pulled apart … free material.
- dish-washing detergent. I don’t use that I use a bar of sunlight soap or equivalent and a sponge. It lifts the grease better than the liquid detergent and costs me just over a $1 for three or four months washing up.
- Vinegar is the best thing for cleaning… I use one bottle cap full in the rinse of clothes. I make up a mix of water, vinegar and some soap in a spray bottle and I have a great bench cleaner, glass cleaner..what ever cleaner.
- lemon… same deal and recently I found it removes the stains at the underarm of shirts… lucky people are able to have lemon trees.. fortunate ones have a friend who does then there those of us who buy the old rejects from the stores, cut them into quarters and freeze them until they are needed.
- bicarb and salt great scourers.. bicarb for gentler scrub.
- Mince…stretch it with flour to make sausage mince (after all if you buy a hamburger patty from Coles or Woolies what do you think is the main ingredient?
- Pearl Barley is great for stretching anything you cook… cook it and then add it or simply drop it into the slow cooker…cheap and it bulks out and I don’t mean make it 50/50 or something I mean just add a bit to stretch it a bit…you don’t want to be eating pure flour you want to be eating meat with a little bit of flour (for those who will complain about carb heavy diet…we don’t have that by the way as mince is the only meat I add flour to lol)
- fruit …cheap cook up into stewed fruit or jam … eat it before it goes off..don’t throw it out. If it is on the edge then freeze it and put it into the next batch of jam or fruit tart. Fruit and veg are good for you even if the fruit is stewed. oh you could always dehydrate a big batch of cheap fruit if you are lucky enough to get some… I gave my dehydrator to my daughter. I used it all the time on fruit and veg… YouTube has great videos on how to dehydrate.
- If something looks like it wont last then try to freeze it in ice cube containers, then pop them out into a plastic bread bag to keep in the freezer until another time.
- If you can cut your own hair then do it
- you do not need to get your hair cut and coloured all the time…stretch the times in-between at the very least. You do not need expensive creams etc… soap for washing your skin and a good sunscreen will moisturize and protect… don’t be fooled by the adverts
RULE OF THUMB
In ten years time do you want your mortgage paid off and money in the bank or do you want to eat expensive, dress expensive just to impress others and end up with a big mortgage still and a small bank account balance or worse still in debt. If you are embarrassed just think … are you living your life for yourself or for the wanna be friend you are trying to keep up with, who probably is up to their eyeballs in debt.